This Gorgeous Vintage Train Takes You to the Tallest Mountain Peak in the U.S. Northeast

Looking for a unique summer experience? Here's why you should board the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

<p>Sura Ark/Getty Images</p>

Sura Ark/Getty Images

There are a few fantastic ways to get to the top of Mount Washington, the tallest mountain peak in the northeast, located in the great state of New Hampshire. First, you can hike. It's a beautiful journey that takes you from verdant woodlands to the craggy peak over the 4-mile trek up Tuckerman Ravine Trail or Lions Head Trail  — but it also takes about five to nine hours to hike round trip, and it's rated as "extremely challenging," making it a route only experienced hikers should take. You can also make the drive on the Auto Road, which takes about 30 minutes to the top and 30 minutes back again. But, there is one more way to get there that is both easier than hiking and more exciting than merely riding in a car, and that's with the ever-fantastic Mount Washington Cog Railway.

For more than 150 years, the tiny cog railway has chugged up the mountain, sometimes in a rather steep ascent. As the railway's website notes, it averages a 25 percent grade, though some sections move up to 38 percent, making it the second-steepest mountain-climbing cog railway in the world. And while the ride is available all year long, there's something extra special about making the journey in the summer — especially since the railway operates two coal-fired steam engines throughout the season that it says are both more than 100 years old.

In the summer, guests can choose between taking one of the hourly biodiesel rides that travel to the summit (which sits at more than 6,200 feet in elevation) or the less frequent coal-fired rides. Both take about three hours round trip, including a one-hour stop at the summit so guests can disembark, explore the peak, and take plenty of pictures.

The biodiesel rides start at $74 for adults, while the steam train begins at $87. Guests can book their seats, so do try to book in advance to reserve a window seat. (Though, if you're traveling in a large group, the railway asks that you not reserve all window seats for your entire party.) But don't worry if you're in an aisle. You still get a fantastic view along the way.

Just be cautious when you reach the summit, as Mount Washington is the site of the highest-ever recorded wind speed in America, clocking in at 231 miles per hour. You can always check the daily conditions here before you go, too.

For more Travel & Leisure news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Travel & Leisure.